1096 – Day in the Bay
A trip though the sands of time and then a little mini-golf.
- Shrubland Plant Community
- Black Diamond Mines Park
- Jack London
- The Gap
Notable Talking Points:
- Keep your latency out of my dreams
- Personally, I love being inside of the earth
- I don’t know my chaparral from my manzanita
Episode 1096 – Day in the Bay
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for the podcaster who will…I won’t put you out like a light switch and I definitely won’t do the other…I won't be turning any lights on. I’m more like I’m lowering the dimmer switch slowly. I make this podcast, if you’re new, because you do deserve a good night’s sleep. This is a different podcast; it’s here to keep you company and take your mind off of stuff. It goes nowhere, it rarely makes sense. It’s kind of…it’s just kinda barely fun, and well…it’s definitely welcoming. So, I’m glad you’re here. Check the show out. It comes out for free twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays. Thanks for making it possible, patrons.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake, whether it’s thoughts on your mind, things you’re thinking about about the past, the present, the future. So thoughts, it could be feelings, anything you’re feeling emotionally. Could be related to those thoughts or the feelings that are just there. I don’t know if they’re latent. I might have to look up what latent means in a minute, ‘cause they’re…or they could be active.
I think here…what is that called? What is that energy, that…potential energy? Latent and pot…are latent and potential energy related at all? My brain is…even my brain is shrugging. It’s not saying I’m…it says I have no idea, so much so that I can’t even embarrass you for being incorrect. But whether your thoughts or your feelings have latent energy, potential energy, or you’re saying oh my goodness, forty years in a laboratory, an energy laboratory, under the tutelage of someone who was under the tutelage of someone who was under the tutelage of someone who knew the definition of the word tutelage of Albert Einstein. My word, I’m…I’ve tuned into a sleep podcast. Yeah, so it could be thoughts, feelings, could be physical sensations that are keeping you up, changes in time, temperature, routine, laborator…tutelage.
Could be any type of tooting. Tooting at bedtime does not always go together. You got those under-the-cover toots. Hopefully that’s a limited thing. You got horn-tooting. Not many horns toot anymore, but they go toot, toot, toot. That’s a very polite way of calling it a horn. Or a ship; you could have a ship going by. How come a…trains don’t go toot, toot, though, do they? They go choo-choo-choo. I guess they could go toot, toot, toot. Root-toot-tootin’ train. I hear a lot of trains; I hear two kinds of trains…three kinds of trains, actually. Freight trains, BART trains, and Amtrak trains from my window. But they don’t really keep me up. But whatever it is that’s keeping you awake, I’m here to take your mind off of that and keep you company while you fall asleep.
The way I do that is I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents. What that means is my voice is not always…it’s not traditionally soothing, but you may find it relaxing and distracting and comforting. Then pointless meanders and superfluous tangents; you kinda already saw those, where I go off-topic, I get mixed up, I forget what a word means, go back, try to figure that out. Maybe we’ll look it up in a minute here. Then…oh, all to keep you company so you could fall asleep. Why do I make this show? What is the purpose of this podcast? Why does…? These are all legitimate questions. I’m not being ironic. Why would anyone listen to this?
These are all…these are really good questions if you’re new or if you’re a regular listener. If you’re new, you might be skeptical or doubtful or confused or irritated. Totally normal. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping like a lot of us have and you’ve tried a bunch of stuff and then you Googled this podcast or someone recommended it, it…yeah, it’s like…this show is a very…is a bit different. I’ll try to explain everything, but the reason I make the show is twofold. One, I’ve been there in the deep, dark night; trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep, trouble waking up. All that stuff; thoughts, feelings, mind racing, physical sensations. I’ve dealt…I’ve had different stuff, so that’s one thing, is I know how it feels.
Deep down it feels not great, or I start thinking about bedtime a day or two ahead of…I say oh no, Sunday’s coming. It can be lonely there in the deep, dark night. So, that’s one reason I make the show, is ‘cause I know how it feels and I know it’s nice to have some kind presence there to keep me company and say hey, that must be tough. I’ll be here to kinda keep you company and take your mind off of stuff if I can. The other side of that is that you deserve a place where you can have that, whether it’s this podcast or something else you can find at sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. But you deserve something that’s gonna keep you company and take your mind off of stuff, a bedtime that you at least feel neutral about, but a bedtime you could look forward to would be great.
The sleep you need would be great, ‘cause then your life will be more manageable. If your life’s more manageable, the world we live in is better because your world’s better, and that is important. It’s important to me and I know it’s important to you even though it might be easy to say oh, it’s not. It is, and you deserve it. You deserve a good night’s sleep. So, that’s why I make the show. This is…a couple other things to know; one, almost no one likes this podcast on their first listen. A percentage of people do, but for the most part, it takes two or three tries to get used to the show. It’s just very different, it’s very strange, and that’s not my word for it.
I would have thought every…it’d be like oh, okay, I definitely don’t like the show or I could…but most…like, more than hundreds of thousands of people…probably a million people have said it took two or three tries for me to get used to that show. So, see how it goes and see if you like it. We don’t gain anything…regular listeners are what keep the show going, so just see how it goes. There’s no pressure to like the show, but see…give it a few tries. See what happens, and hopefully it helps. So, that’s…I think that’s that part. Oh, structure of the…oh yeah, okay, so this podcast…oh, you don’t really listen to it. Did I say that yet? No. It’s a podcast you kinda barely listen to. You can listen. That’s one of the hardest things to get used to.
It’s like, almost like looking at a out-of-focus photograph or something, but without trying to figure…you say huh, that’s kinda not bad. Like, a Zoom background…and you say well, it’s kinda blurry, but that person’s Zoom…it’s not too blurry. I like the colors in your Zoom background; they’re blurred in the way that’s not bad. That’s this podcast; you’re not trying to figure out what’s in the Zoom background, but you’re saying…you could be in a pastel kitchen with a pastel pantry behind you, but I don’t know. But thinking that relaxes me. The pastel…the pantry of pastels or the pastel pantry. So, this is a podcast that you just kinda barely listen to, in that sense. I don’t know if that’s the greatest analogy, but it’s the one we have today. This is a podcast that doesn’t really put you to sleep.
I’m here to keep you company while you fall asleep or to keep you company if you can’t sleep, or to keep you company while you’re sleeping. I’m here to be your friend in the deep, dark night, your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-sib, your bore-bestie, your bore-bor, your neigh-bore, your bore-bud, and to be your friend in the deep, dark night. So if you can’t sleep, I’m here keeping you company to the end, but if you’re not listening to me, I’m here keeping you company while you’re not listening or while you’re sleeping. I’m here for you. So, those are a couple other things. The structure of the show also throws new people off, and it’s…the show’s designed in a very deliberate way, and you can adjust as you become a regular listener. But let me explain why we structure the show the way we do it.
Show starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, then I try to say something silly. That way, you feel seen, you feel welcome, or you say okay, I can check this place out. I may be comfortable with it. I’m not sure yet. We say something silly or mildly witty so that you say okay, the tone of the show is a little bit goofy. So, that’s the beginning. Then there’s support so the podcast can come out twice a week for free wherever you want to listen to it, and that’s…the sponsors and the people that support the show directly enable us to do that for you for free. It’s optional. You say oh, yeah, I can…I’ll listen a couple times. Maybe I won’t like it. So yeah, no pressure. Or I’m not in a position to support the show; I’m just a student or I’m a new parent. Yeah, no worries.
We’re here for you for free, twice a week, whatever podcast app you want. So, that’s the first part of the support, then there’s support for listeners, then there’s support for the communities around the show. Then there’s the intro, which is separate from the support. The intro is a show within a show where I go on and on and on, trying to explain what the podcast is. Never quite successful, never concise at all. For some people, that…they think it’s part of the support, but really, the intro…for a new listener, you say oh, okay, I get the style of the show now. You’re going nowhere fast, or slow at the same time. You’re treading in goop. I say oh yeah, you know me already. Congrats. So, it…I don’t know.
The reason it goes on and on and on also is…that was a lot of on and on and ons…is for a lot of listeners, the regular listeners, their pets, their fishes…what up, my fishes? When I say what up, my fishes, that applies to all…every once in a while I’ll tell people to kiss their own shoulder or their bicep and say good job. Good job kissing that bicep. Any bicep is good, or whatever you want to call it; your arm…yeah, let’s just call it a bicep. It doesn’t have to be like a movie bicep. It’s just that thing. Some people will kiss their shoulders, but I’ve been told that’s not as easy. Even for me, I guess. So yeah, let’s stick to the…oh, let’s kiss that bi…what does it have to do with anything? Well…what does it have to do with the intro? Well, the intro’s different every time, so whatever is keeping you awake can’t quite adjust.
It takes fifteen to twenty minutes or so so that it eases you into bedtime. It gives you a break between getting ready for bed and falling asleep and the bedtime story. That’s just what we’ve seen work, is having a way to ease into bedtime, whether you’re listening as you’re getting ready for bed or you’re doing something chill or you’re already in bed getting comfortable. The intro is the transition part of the show, the landing strip. Then there’s…what comes after…? Oh, then there’s support again for the show so it can be free twice a week, and then there’s a story. Tonight it’ll be an…something we’re trying new, a little Bay Area adventures, travel tips, or off the…whatever. I’m not quite sure ‘cause it’s new. Then there will be thank-yous at the end. So, that’s the structure of the show. That’s why I make the show.
Let’s see, so let’s look up latent. Latent. L-A-T-E-N-T. I guess it’s two syllables. An adjective of a quality or state existing but not yet developed or manifest. Oh boy, hidden or concealed. A latent talent for diplomacy. Or in biology, a bud or resting stage, lying dormant or hidden until circumstances are suitable for its development or manifestation. So, I have no idea what context I was using it. I think I was talking about latent…oh, feelings; latent feelings. Oh boy, that’s pretty accurate, actually. The feelings that are there that you’re bare…you’re not quite aware of but you can feel them. I deal with that a lot. They’re lying latent. Not quite 100% latent, though. You’d say, could you be a little bit more latent? Is there a sub-latent? Could you get into some sub-latency?
I’m pretty sure there’s something like that, because…I say well…I say yeah, just…can you do your latency a little bit…yeah, quiet down your latency. My latency’s tone is built into the…and I say well, if you could just do…we’re looking for…and plus, keep your latency out of my dreams, too. If you could give me any of this…if you could bring it to a latent level between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM…or even better; 2:00 to 4:00, maybe, or…yeah, that would be perfect. Or maybe on a Sunday…no, not Sunday. Oof. How’s your Saturday looking? Well, this is things that make up your whole…and I say great, that’s terrific, but I mean, I could probably squeeze you in Saturday at…do you want to do an imaginary brunch with this latent stuff, these latent feelings? How about you…what if…how about this; let’s make a deal.
Whenever I’m walk…you know what? I get latent thoughts. How come…can’t you come visit? Could we schedule a visit whenever I walk the dog or take a shower? I mean, you’re probably there anyway. It’d be great. You could…I could give you maybe 30% of my attention. How about 20% anytime I’m showering or walking the dog or driving alone or running or listening to a podcast? I’m usually thinking about something else anyway, so couldn’t I squeeze you in…and not squeeze you in; that sounds too…sounds like it would make you have some latent feelings about being latent, but I’d just love to pencil you in for something official.
But even though I don’t have a pencil or a calendar that’s like that, it’d be terrific to just get you on the calendar because then we don’t have to…then at bedtime we have an agreement; you’re…no, I’m not trying to make you…don’t put…don’t shrug…don’t let your shoulders…no, no; this is…I want to see you. Oh boy, I want you in my life, latency. I mean, except when I’m using the internet or something I need…I can’t have a low latency or whatever, you know? But no, no, no, I’m looking to see you on a regular basis. This is the start of something special, ‘cause usually…here’s the pitch for you, latent; normally at bedtime, believe it or not, it seems like the best time to bring stuff up with me ‘cause everything’s quiet, but that’s because I’m trying to fall asleep.
There’s other parts of me that are also in competition with you, and I’m saying I’m not 100% sure you’re just…you’re a nocturnal being. You may be diurnal, and I don’t…I’m…I think that means…let’s make it diurnal. If you’re not, the sunshine’s out there sometimes. You get to see stuff. Then you’d be on…you’d be…you would no longer be latent. So, I don’t know if that’s part of it, would be…that would transform you. It might not be…you say well, then what would…do I need to change my name? I say you may, but I think that’s part of the process of being latent, you know? So yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I’m glad…I’d love to have you more in my life, is my…I’m really saying that. I’d love you to be…I’d love to be giving you 30% of my attention, which is more than I give almost anything.
I was just trying to start us off on a honest footing, you know? Because if I told you I’d give you 100% of my attention, that wouldn’t be very respectful, right? Hearing it out loud, I say oh boy, but that’s the truth. I mean, just think about my poor dog; she’s walking. Now meanwhile, about forty of my percent of my brain at all times is…we’ll just call it concerns. Then that leaves about 60% left. 20% we could throw out to generalized confusion. I don’t know, what does that give us? Twenty…? But I’m selling you…I’ll pull some from those other things. Don’t worry, I won't take anything from paying attention to the bathing…the cleaning…well, if you could keep an eye on me while we’re talking if I’m bathing, just make sure my feet and my armpits get clean, but not before I wash my face, alright?
‘Cause I like…I don’t have a specific order. I never developed a specific…we could work on that. But I don’t like to go my face first, ‘cause you say…well, even though I know where the soap’s been…you know what I’m saying? But then sometimes I forget. Did I say, did I wash my armpits? Did I wash my feet? Am I boring you, latent? That’s maybe why. So anyway, let’s work on that. What do you say? But it’s not…I’m not trying to disregard you or disrespect you at all. I’m trying to say let’s…we’re in this together, right? I think we know that. That’s why you’re latent. That’s why I need a little bit more sub-latency. How about this…let me put it to you this way; would you want your own sub? Who would turn down a submarine, right? A latent in a sub…instead of sub-latent, I’ll put you in your own submarine.
You’ll be cruising around after midnight. Maybe you’re sleeping, maybe…I don’t know, maybe it’s a club, the Latency Sub Club. You could do whatever you want in that submarine. I mean, if it’s something cool, let me know about it. Well now I’m wondering if then that would take away…say well…but so, yeah, you could have your own submarine. You won't be sub-latent; you’ll be cruising in a sub. Then during the day, we’ll have some check-in time. That’s all I’m saying. I think that’s pretty good.
So anyway, those are the kind of things that come up here in the intro, go on and on and on. Sometimes we solve things like we just did. I think this is a new…you say, what happened to Sleep With Me? Scooter…turns out, Scooter opened a club in a submarine in Ibiza, and it was unbelieve…he’s a billionaire now. He’s a billionaire club…he has sub clubs in the Thames and other places. It’s pretty cool, right? It’s in his…all in his imagination, though. So, I’m glad you’re here. I really hope I can help you fall asleep. I appreciate you stopping by, and here’s a couple ways I’m able to do it for you for free twice a week.
Alright, hey everybody, it’s Scoots here and this is a different kind of episode. Totally new, and so, it should be interesting. I don’t know if this may be created in two parts; I’m not even sure. I didn’t know if this would…so, I don’t know. So, this is a couple days in the Bay. The idea of this one is maybe to find some…I wouldn’t say they’re underrated gems where you live or where I live in this example, but a couple half-day adventures you could go on. Now, I guess if you were coming to the Bay Area…if you live in the Bay Area, this…these should…this should be on your list, or whatever I talk about in this episode. Say hey, add this to your list. But the reason it’s good to sleep to is it won't be anything exciting.
If you were coming from out of town to visit, probably wouldn’t…you probably wouldn’t necessarily need to do this unless it’s your fifth time coming to the Bay Area for a visit. So, I don’t know if that’s…what do they call that? Lurism? Local tour…’cause it’s not really a staycation, ‘cause it’s just a day trip. Stuff to do, I guess they’d call it. I want to encourage you to do this because one, it’s…it…I just…it’s something I fall In-N-Out of with…the more I fall into a routine, the less likely I am to go on local adventures. Then I have to kinda re-spark that, for some reason. It always in my mind sound…seems more difficult than it necessarily is. Don’t know why, but it just is. So, it’s something I’m working towards changing.
So, I’d like to take you along on this day trip here, where we’ll be going out to Antioch-Pittsburg, and Walnut Creek. We will be eating at a chain restaurant. I don’t know how many historical facts I have. I can look some up on Wikipedia, I’m sure. But let’s take the journey…let me look on a map, actually, of some of the places we’ll journey, ‘cause that’s a part of it, you know? So, if you’re in the Bay, what you first want to do is…depending on where you are in the Bay, is you want to get to 680 north. So, for those of us…those of you in San Francisco or the pen…well, if you’re…depending on where you are in the peninsula, it’ll be different. But if you’re in the east…in the Oakland, Berkeley, East…the East Bay or San Francisco, you’re gonna take 24 and you’re gonna connect with 680. You’ll take 680 north.
Now, this is where it gets confusing…got confusing for me, is that there’s a road called 242, which I think is also 680. I don’t know. You’re gonna take 242 north where 680 splits off and heads northwest. You’re gonna take 242 which heads north, or a tiny bit northeast. By this time, on 680 and 24, you’ll be passing through Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord, and then you’ll get out there and you’ll hit…I don’t know. What is it we hit here? Don’t worry, I got a map thing open, so I’m…oh, 4, though you could take Willow Pass Road. We did not take it; I was just following the directions that were given to me. Here’s the thing; this part is all…you could take BART for some of this. Not all of it, so I can’t give you advice for all of it, but this is pretty cool.
If you haven’t been out here, you get to start to see some things you haven’t seen before. You’ll see some industry, you’ll see those rolling hills I talked about, you’ll see Mount Diablo at some point, and then you’ll start heading east on 4. You’ll be…to your left will be Suisun Bay and…what is that called? The Delta, right? That’s what they call that, the Sacramento Delta. I think that’s what they call it. We’ll start proceeding through…you’ll start heading west. As you see the hills, you’ll see some open areas, and some open areas that may become housing soon that used to be US property. You’ll keep…you’ll eventually pass Willow Pass Road. We saw…we couldn’t tell honestly if it was a school or a movie theatre under construction. Pretty close to Willow Pass Road, I think, but it may have been further along.
You’ll do a little bit of an elevation gain before you come back down. Again, yeah, you’ll see the…I guess it…what is this, where the Sacramento River meets…oh, the San Joaquin River? Is that what it is, Scoots? I don’t really know. There’s Stockton, Rio Vista…that is the San Joaquin River. I’m trying to figure…I’m working with you; don’t worry, buddy. Sacramento Deep Water Ship Channel. So, there is a way for ships to actually get to Stockton, I believe, and Sacramento, through this delta, but I don’t know. Other than that, the answers are not coming. San Francisco Bay, estuary research, grizzly…I’m just looking at a map here. But anyway, you’re gonna continue heading east. You’ll pass Pitts…Bay Point, then Pittsburg, and eventually get to Antioch.
Oh, before you get to Antioch…so, between Pittsburg and Antioch is where we’ll stop. But first I want to say I think I took Highway 4 one time as an experiment all the way to Stockton. So, let me see if that’s possible. Oh yeah, it connects with Vasco Road, too. That’s interesting. Let me see if I took it all the way there. Just one time I had to do something out in Antioch or Pittsburg, and then I had to go to Stockton, I think. Yeah, I did take it all the way to Stockton. I don’t know if it’s necessarily the most…oh yeah, ‘cause there’s Discovery Bay. I think I’ve been out there once or twice. That’s pretty far out…Byron…yeah, these are all ex-burbs. Brentwood…not the Brentwood in Los Angeles; this is the Bay Area version. I mean, the Bay Area Brentwood. But there’s a lot of cool parks out there.
We’re still in the East Bay Parks District for some of this. I was even looking; there’s…this Big Break Regional Shoreline sounds pretty cool. San Joaquin River, and…oh, the Sacramento River and the San Joaquin River, yeah, enter this delta or whatever you want to call it, this…that goes into the bay. So, this is probably…this water is…probably goes…is…what do you call it, briny, where they go from salt to…it’s where the freshwater meets the saltwater at some point. San Pablo Bay…but yeah, so at one point, I did take Highway 4 all the way to Stockton. It was not efficient. I don’t know if I thought it would save me time or I just wanted to see if I could do it, but I did do it. Oh, there’s an Antioch waterpark. Never heard of that…at the Antioch Community Center. So, it looks like they’re a community pool.
Okay, but where we’re getting off here for now is…let me find my thing here. Where do we get off? Summersville Road…and it’s a big intersection on Highway 4, and it looks like it is in…officially in Antioch, but right around the middle of Antioch and Pittsburg. We’re gonna head southwest, I guess, so you’re basically gonna go right on Summerville Road. You’re gonna take Summerville Road…oh, but this is imaginary, so ahead of time what you’re gonna want to do is go to the East Bay Parks website, because our first stop or our main stop…no, our first stop is Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve Park, and that is technically in Antioch…94509.
It’s at the end of Summerville Road, but you do want to make a reservation ahead of time for one of three…there’s three different tours you can go on; there’s the…there’s a…they’re different places where…trying to think of what’s most sleepy. Some of the stuff’s not…it’s not…there’s nothing not sleepy about what we’re gonna do, but for some people it could be archetypally not sleepy. But let me go to Wikipedia and I’ll read to you about it. But you want to make a reserve for one of the tours. I guess we could use it as…it calls it the Black Diamond Mines. I think that’s because at some point they mined coal there and then they mined silica or sand there.
According to Wikipedia, the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is a 6,000-acre park north of Mount Diablo, Contra Costa County, administered by the East Bay Parks Regional Park District. It was acquired in 1973. Relics of three mining towns, former coal and sand mines, and offers a guided tour of the former sand mine. But you can also go on a tour that’s based on history or just the coal mining tour, which we did, which is a short tour. One of the reasons we did it is one, I never been there. Personally, I love being inside the Earth. I have full…places that say you can have our full confidence, so that…for this example they said you have our full confidence. Come on inside our Earth, here. So, getting a tour of that kinda stuff…but this was always something that just seemed a little bit too far.
So, the drive is about…I don’t know how long the drive is. Let’s actually look it up. I know we had the map up, here. What are directions…how long…yeah, it’s…from the East Bay…from 24, once you hit 24, if there’s no traffic, you’re talking about thirty to forty-five minutes. So yeah, check it out. Okay, so let’s go back. Sixty mile…the preserve contains relics; we covered that, offers guided tours, there’s trails…sixty miles of trails in the preserves, of rolling foothill terrain covered with grassland, oak woodland, mixed evergreen forest, and chaparral or whatever…however you say that. I’m not kidding. Charpel? We’ll talk about that. Oh, Wikipedia has some really nice pictures. Historically, we’ll cover it a little bit just because…why not?
1859, there was a coal deposit discovered, and it wasn’t successful at first but then things were growing rapidly because it was part of the overall Mount Diablo coal field. So, there’s some of that there. Oh, there was towns there; Nortonville, Summerville, Stewartville, West Hartley, and Judsonville. You can kinda see one of them, ‘cause it’s on private property, or two of them. The mines…they’re Empire Central Star, Corker and Pittsburg, Manhattan, Eureka, independent union, Black Diamond, Mount Hope, and Cumberland. Now, the thing about the coal — they told us this on the tour, too — was low-grade because of its age. It wasn’t as old as other coal deposits discovered elsewhere, so it didn’t burn very clean. It was sub-bituminous or something.
But it was the only source of…readily-accessible source in California. It was carried to the San Joaquin River by three railroads and then put on barges for Sacramento, Stockton, and San Francisco area stuff. Then as better-quality coal became available and easier to ship, they said okay, that’s not great. You can’t really go on any tours of the actual coal mines, though we got a little bit of a view of one, or maybe as a sand mine, that they said this is what it was like if it was a coal mine. But we went on a coal mining tour. You can look in different…other ones. It’s a really nice park. There’s also other historical areas including where people are resting for a long time. Then there’s the sandstone mine.
This is the 1920s, and this…the interesting thing about the tour, too; said hey, a lot of the stuff you use, like glass, for example, it comes from somewhere like this. So, it was good for my daughter and I to see it together. Actually, we live pretty close to the plant that’s still open, I think. 1920s high-quality silica sandstone, they started taking that out of Summersville area. That was sold to the Hazel-Atlas, is what it’s called now, and…for containers. That was operated ‘til 1945. There was another one in Nortonville. That Hazel-Atlas is slowly being restored and maintained. I’d like to go on that for a tour. You can go into…there’s a portal, they call it, and that’s where their visitor’s center is, which is really cool, and the museum. Let’s see…recreation; you got great views of Mount Diablo and the river Delta.
A lot of wildflowers, wildlife…we saw some birds. The park is open year-round. 2016, they…someone else donated some more land to it. So, I think that’s it for the history. Let’s cover that…however you say that word, because we went on a hike. Okay, so let me tell you…give you more directions, then we’ll go to more facts. So, we drove up Summerville Road, then you go…you enter the park, and then you go on a winding road. Now, go slow ‘cause there’s people doing biking up and down the hill. You do a slow elevation gain going up the hill there, and then you park, and there are…now, you do have to go to…the visitor’s centers a bit away. I don’t know…a quarter-mile, maybe, from the parking, so make sure you have screen…sunscreen, water, a hat, maybe some…you know, the kinda stuff you’d bring on a hike.
It could be pretty warm out there. The day we went, it was not. It was windy and the sun was out, but it was not hot. So, we use…well, I drank two Coke Zeros, so I used the P-I-T of…a pit-based water closet. Then we headed up towards the visitor’s center. We checked in; we were early. We watched a film from…a old episode of Bay Area Back Roads covering the mine and the surrounding park, and looked at some of the exhibits. Then we went for a hike on a trail. I think it was called chaparral…chaparral…chaparral. Chaparral; that’s according to Wikipedia. I think that was the name of the trail we went on, a loop. It was pretty cool ‘cause it went by a couple historical places. Now, the only thing was, we had about a half-hour.
It was a really nice hike, but then it was a loop, but I don’t think we knew how long the loop was. So, then we started getting under a time crunch, and you know when Scoots gets under a time crunch. So, the first part of the loop that we went on went uphill, and the second one went downhill. But this chaparral…chaparral…chaparral…that makes sense. Remember, I’m dyslexic, so this stuff…when it’s not a sight word and it’s very confusing like this, it is really not easy for me. But it’s a shrubland plant community, and I think these are the ones…I’m more familiar with seeing them a lot in Los Angeles in the Angeles National Forest, but you can find them in California, Southern Oregon, Baja Peninsula. It needs a Mediterranean climate and stuff to kinda give it area.
It’s summer-drought-tolerant plants, evergreen leaves, which is different than coastal sage scrub, which is found on other drier slopes within their biome. There’s other closely-related shrubland systems in Arizona and Texas. But yeah, Cal…these ones, they need…you could see them…yeah, they…it’s…let’s see. Mature chaparral is characterized by impenetrable, dense thickets. They do get dry, so you gotta watch…you gotta take care. They grow as woody shrubs with thick, leathery, often small leaves. They contain leaves all year. They’re evergreen and drought-resistant. They can…they do flower occasionally when…after the first rain. Let’s see, I think these are the ones, though, with the red bark. I don’t know. That’s what…I would have thought they would have led with that.
So maybe I’m talking about two different plants. Maybe that’s manzanita. I don’t know. I guess we gotta look up manzanita now just to cover me, ‘cause I’m not seeing the bark. The bark…oh no, there you go…oh, manzanita, there we go. Oh boy. So, I didn’t…I don’t know my chaparral from…chaparral from my manzanita, which I mean I guess is not surprising. Let’s see, so manzanita is another evergreen shrub. It goes…it grows in the chaparral biome. So maybe manzanita is a type of chaparral? So, we could have gone on the manzanita loop or the chaparral loop. Manzanitas can live in places with poor soil, little water. Smooth, orange, or red bark — there you go — and stiff, twisting branches. There’s 105 species of manzanita, 95 of which are found in the Mediterranean climate or colder regions.
They can grow up to twenty feet tall. They bloom in the winter to early spring. They do have berries and flowers. It’s transited to a little apple, and they’re…I don’t know, they’re really cool-looking plant…trees or bushes or plants. So if you haven’t seen a manzanita and you’re not on a tour with someone that doesn’t know his manzanita from his chaparral, you know, do yourself a favor and check it out. But so, that’s one thing, or I mean, that’s one…so, that’s…so, we went on the hike, right, through manzanita, through chaparral, looked at different stuff; there was sandstone, there was other stuff, there was other people hiking. It was a beautiful day. Again, it was just nice to be out, and even for where I live in the East Bay, it’s a different environment even though it was only forty-five minutes away.
It’s a hotter, drier climate out there and it’s cool to be out there ‘cause it doesn’t get as much of the Bay coastal fog as we do. So, we had a nice little hike, but it did get tense as the time was clicking down, ‘cause we had gone too far to go back the way we came. Well, it was a gamble I took. I said well, if this is a loop…and it’s not known…it wasn’t known…it didn’t seem like it was intense hiking. I was like, we should be able to complete the loop. So, it was my fault…my responsibility, too. But we completed the loop literally with one or two minutes to spare before the tour began, but then people showed up to the tour late anyway. Then we went on a nice tour. We got to see some…these East Bay Park tours are really well done.
They had photos, they had a piece of coal, there was also larger photos and murals on the walls that we stopped and looked at. There was historical exhibits. So, we kinda got an idea of what it was like for this tour to take coal out of the area and the process of doing that and the uses, and then a brief touch on the history, specifically and the history of these towns that would spring up and then move on to the next coal town. So, it was nice, and a really well-done tour. Really nice thing. I highly recommend it. Again, if you live in the Bay Area or the East Bay, you may have gone on…and did I…? No, I guess I went on a tangent before I finished this tangent. So, this is something I had always wanted to do, and then my daughter, she was supposed to…they…the…it’s a big school field trip; that’s what…my point I was trying to make…that you go on.
But her school field trip did not…the day of the field trip she was not feeling well, so she didn’t go on the field trip. I think it was in fourth or fifth grade. So she never made it on this tour, and I think there was one other time I had scheduled a tour, paid for it…it’s three to five dollars, and then we couldn’t make it. So, this has been something that has been on my bucket list. I think…and it sounded way more work than it was to drive…I don’t know, just to reserve something to drive out there. I don’t know if you could relate, but to me, that’s too much for me to handle. So, you know, that’s just…that’s me. That’s who I am. So, then…what…so what was my point? I don’t know. I have no idea what my point was. I don’t know.
Oh, so it was finally something we got to do, so it was cool and well worth it, but one day I’d like to go on the Hazel Mine tour, but probably not for a while just ‘cause I just was there, and maybe do some more hiking ‘cause there’s a lot to see. My daughter didn’t have the best shoes and she’s not big into hiking. I mean, she enjoyed the hike we went on. Also, I prefer hikes with mountain streams that we can jump in, just like…who doesn’t? Okay, so we got…we did that, right? We’re covered. We got that covered, right? So, we did that, then next stop was lunch for us. Now again, to some of you, this is gonna seem strange, but I’ll get…I’ll explain it. But we don’t live in a area…I think this is like everybody; when I first moved to California, I remember the first time I ate at Jack in the Box.
It was a big privilege because we just didn’t have Jack in the Boxes on the East Coast. I don’t know if there’s any other ones that jump out to me. I mean, In and…or In-N-Out, but In-N-Out wasn’t as big back then. So, I think we actually had to drive to Downey from where I lived in LA to get to a In-N-Out. But so, for some of you, you have Sonic, which has ads on TV all the time. Sonic Burger is what it’s called, but there’s no urban Sonics where we live. So, to go to Sonic is an adventure for us, and a rarity. It was something we did twice during the pandemic, or maybe only once. I think we did it twice where it was like…during 2020 and 2021, just going to get takeout or whatever was a big deal.
That was a adventure because you…and it…now, it’s a drive…it’s kinda like a old-fashioned…no roller skates anymore, but particularly during 2020 and 2021, it was perfect ‘cause they’d bring it to your car and then you eat in your car anyway, and you order from your car. Your car is parked in a overhang. So, it was a treat because they’re famous for their limeade. I did not get the limeade. My daughter got diet limeade and she said it was really good. I think I tasted it; I had Coke Zero. I had a hamburger. It was really good. We got…their mozzarella sticks were very good. My daughter got a chili cheese dog; she said it was good. They have tater tots and fries, curly fry…I think curly fries. Then we got…very similar to other places; I think they call them Blasts there, like a Blizzard, Flurry Blast.
I had Butterfinger and my daughter had Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. That was all very good, and it was enjoyable. Yeah, it was nice. We sat in the car and…we sat in the car and enjoyed our meal. It was really nice. So, let’s see, we got…let’s see, what else is going on? So, we did that, then…now, we didn’t finish our Butterfinger…our Blasts because…now, so…oh, so yeah, I guess that’s the…all the explanation. It was just a treat for us ‘cause we never eat there. It was a Saturday and that’s the day I kind of let loose on how…whatever. It was a nice treat. But then we kind of enjoyed our Blasts as we drove, and we had one more stop. It was really amazing; it was in Walnut Creek.
I accidentally found this place when I was on a walk, and I was so happy to discover it was still in business, because Walnut Creek…downtown Walnut Creek is where the co-working space I use during the week is when my daughter’s at school. Especially when I first went there, I would go out for a lot of walks. I would take a break and I would go for a walk because I was not familiar with Walnut Creek. I’m still not totally familiar with it. I didn’t know if we would move to that area, that general area, or not, and I knew I’d be spending a lot of time there. So, I was going for a lot of walks. At one point, I went for a walk and it was in a unfamiliar area not far from where my co-working space was, but there was a path going through apartments or condos, but it seemed like a public path. So, I went through that path.
You know when condos are built around a common green-type thing without parking? So it was very nice going through the heart of these condos or apartments. Then I went through another…I think another set, another little path, and actually, even though it was a weekday, there was a couple people enjoying the park or the common green. Then it kinda dumped me out on a street, which was weird, but I said okay, and then I said should I go left or right? I said ah, I guess I’ll go left. I turned left on this street, and in a parking lot…and this was kind of a…a kind of suburb-type street. I think there was…yeah, like a piano…like a piano lesson place, a nail shop, insurance office, a couple takeout restaurants, independent ones. But in the back parking lot was a seemingly somewhat-homemade putt-putt course.
Like, in the parking lot, so no theming on the course. Like a homemade one. I don’t mean homemade in a insulting way in this case, because I said huh, that’s cool. We’ll have to…I hope that…and I think maybe it was even open. I’m not even sure, but I just kinda glanced at it. I think I Googled it and then more recently, I said you know what? I want to go back there. Let me Google and see if it’s still around, and we did, and was…it’s called Putter’s Putt-Putt. I hope it’s still open when you’re even listening to this, if you’re in the Bay. We went there. Not only did they have eighteen holes; I think they had twenty-two holes, and they were…this person…I don’t know if the person who we paid was the person who built the course, and it seems like they’re kind of like a fun scientist of mini-golf.
So, it’s like they’re…it was such a wonderful thing to see. There was no…I mean, it would be difficult at this point to take it apart and move it, but it seemed like they were still gonna be adding on even more holes. A lot of the holes were very inventive. The price was amazing. Like I said, there wasn’t…they said yeah, there’s twenty-two holes or twenty-one holes, just so you know. It was just really, really fun. Now, if you go to…in a more expensive built-in mini-golf place, there’s more theming and stuff, but this was about the golf, and for me and my daughter, about the competition because we’re about evenly matched. So, we really enjoyed that. Hopefully…I think on the next update here, I’ll update you with another mini-golf trip, ‘cause I guess that’s kind of part of the adventures we’re going on. So, Scoots will be back in a little bit here with another update.
Alright everybody, Scoots here. Back with another Bay afternoon. Now, for this one, we’re going right to San Francisco. You could walk it…I’d probably suggest walking it, taking public transit, but you could drive. But how you get there is not important as getting there, and you could plan an afternoon, you could probably plan a morning. You could plan a whole day and a whole evening. This is the area…I don’t know what it’s actually called. I would call it Southa Market, but I know I’m wrong. Oh, Mission Bay; is that what it’s called? Yeah, let’s see here. Old Wikipedia…just looked it up. Mission Bay, San Francisco is a 300, three-acre neighborhood, according to Wikipedia. It’s ported by China Basin and the Dogpatch, which I think we did…we’ll be going into China Basin as well, and San Francisco Bay to the east.
Originally an industrial district, it redeveloped with UCSF, Mission Bay campus, and the Chase Center. Its location, as we’ve said, is…let’s see the history. It used to be a salt marsh and lagoon, then it was where refuse from building projects was placed, then debris, then the marsh quickly stabilized with the weight of the infill, then became an industrial district. It was used for ship-building and repair and other things. Believe it or not, you could pass by the…where Jack London was born. I don’t know if that’s in here, ‘cause that might be in China Basin. Attractions; it has UCSF…let’s see, the headquarters of…oh, interesting, of Old Navy and the Gap, the northern terminus of the Third Street Light Rail Project, and the northern terminus at Caltrain. So, you could take the train there from a lot of places.
There’s a public library. So, I’m gonna have to make multiple trips, here. What else we got here? The San Francisco Bay Trail, the Blue Greenway Waterfront Trail. So, these are things I didn’t check out, but I highly suggest them. Sinking sidewalk…so, I’ll be going back here. It’s also served by the [inaudible] and the T Third Street lines of the metro. It’s adjacent to South Beach, which maybe is where Oracle Park is? So, I may not have been…I may have been in South Beach. I don’t know. But Mission Bay is…well, I could see some UCSF stuff, but whatever. So anyway, what was my point? My point is that you should go check it out, because it…it’s a nice area, those…all those areas. So basically, let me see, if you’re not from San Francisco, you could…between the neighborhoods that are…South of Market I believe is what the area is called.
So you got China Basin, Mission Bay, South Beach, I guess, and you could go to…you could even go…if you’re really a walker like I am, you could walk from the Ferry Building under the bridge, along the Embarcadero and the waterfront, maybe stop at…there’s two fav…famous burger places on the water, there’s also the Delancey Street Cafe, and then you could keep walking; you could check out the Giants Stadium, you could go to a game there, you could watch it from the outside. When we happened to go, it was a big sporting night. Now, we went early because of this. So, it was very…it was bustling. I love…know what I love, is a bustling area when I’m in a good mood, and I happened to be in a good mood. So, I was prepared for some bustling. So, we saw…the Giants were playing the Dodgers that night.
So, we saw a lot of Giant and Dodger fans being friendly and loving towards one another. Mostly, people were getting ready to go to dinner or to a pub or whatever, ‘cause it was around…it wasn’t…I think it was about three hours before the game. Then also, you saw a lot of people in Dubs jerseys, the San Francisco Warriors or the Golden State Warriors, I guess. They were going to Chase Center. Now, there wasn’t a game at Chase Center, but you could watch one of the NBA final games from within Chase Center or outside of it. Now, this was not on our plan. Also, just because I love walking, my guest who was my daughter, she does not love walking anymore because it’s…what a way to have your child rebel against you; not liking walking anymore. But I probably walked her too much.
So, I guess if you’re gonna rebel…I say okay, well, at least you’ll do stuff; you just won’t walk as much. So I couldn’t really get her to do a lot of these walking trails, but what she would do is walk eighteen holes of miniature golf with me. But what I’m saying is there was a lot to look at. If you’re into adult…beer and stuff, there’s a lot of places to go have a drink. There’s also a lot of places to eat, which is part of what we’re doing. So, we’re going to the Stagecoach Greens, which is a mini-golf place within this area of San Francisco called…let me look up…well, the mini-golf place is called Stagecoach Greens, but there’s also…it’s adjacent to this food truck park called Spark Social.
So, it’s really cool ‘cause it has…it’s…and especially if you’re…again, you’re…they had a bunch of places to get adult drinks, soda drinks, there was soda stuff. So, there’s two blocks of food trucks, plenty of seating, and there was plenty of shade. So, we got there; we had made a reservation. Here’s one thing, if you’re gonna play at Stagecoach Greens, make a reservation. I think you have to in order to…you make a tee time and you pay for your ticket ahead of time. We had…we were actually early — surprise, surprise, when you’re with Scoots — and so they said you’re early and we got a large party in front of you. So, can you come back at your tee time? It happened that my daughter was a little bit hungry, so we got some fries and a lemonade from a stand. I’ll say the fries were really good.
The lemonade was not good. It was a little bit of a disappointment. It was over $3 and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t even worth the dollar. So, that was a little bit of a frustration, but not the end of the world ‘cause we needed our liquid. But the fries were excellent. Holy mackerel, were these good fries. So, that kinda made up for it. They were from the same truck. Then we proceeded to play some golf at Stagecoach Greens, which is…it’s a well-themed course. Now, if you’re…it is…I wouldn’t say it was super challenging. I’m just getting…this is only…this…I’m not really good at mini-golf, but it was fun. I’ll just run through…there was eighteen holes. It was very busy, so you had to have…we packed our patience and we used it. We just…even with the reservations, it was after work on a Friday night, I think. So, there’s a lot going on.
So, I would recommend going in off-hours, like on a weekday during the day or something. But let’s see, so you had the Rocking Stone, the Barbary Coast Saloon…that’s hole one and two, Immigrant Trail, which was a mountain, Stagecoach Wheel, Sierra Mining Tunnels, Gold Rush Place Where People Rest, then a Gold Cart, then the Railroad Joining the Nation, Mission Bay Shipyard…Alpha in the Air was funny; it was like Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots but with skyscrapers. Each hole also had a little history panel which was cool, and a sound effect. So, those two things were nice also to experience, in my opinion. Sutro Fog; that was a really nice hole. Splash Hit; that’s for the Giants Stadium. A Walk in the Woods was Golden Gate Park. I Felt That was…what’s that? Fuller House house or a Victorian.
Ocean Beach Bonfire, Spirit of Invention, Dragon’s Gate, and Eureka. So, they were nice holes. It was a nice golf course. It was outside, I mean, which again is a rarity in San Francisco. I think this is the only outdoor mini-golf course. Seems to be independently operated. I think they may have…maybe they have one other course in Denver. I can’t remember. I thought that came up. San Francisco prices, so prepare yourself. You gotta pay ahead of time anyway…and very busy, but we had fun. Let’s see, I did have three hole-in-ones, which for me is pretty rare. So, I mean, I probably got…I think on the second hole, it was a nice shot that was straight down the middle. It wasn’t a trick shot; you just had to go under something, so you couldn’t see the hole but you could tell where it was.
On Hole 4, that was the result of a mulligan, I’ll be honest. Then I got a fourteen…oh, so 14 was a hole…you either…yeah, so 14 and 4, those…so, I only had actually one hole-in-one, ‘cause the other two…we each get a mulligan on the front nine and the back nine. While I don’t note it, I did remember that that is where I got my…what was my worst hole? Great question. Hole 6; I maxed out at…Hole 6…oh, that was…yeah, that was just a long hole. That was at Gold Rush, A Place Where People Rest at the…to the Big Farm. I think it was just a matter of…I think I also missed two close putts, so it’s probably…I had a…I was going for a three and then missed the three, then I missed the four. I do remember that was…I told my daughter; I’m like okay, this kinda puts us close to even again, which it did at the…wow, I think we tied.
The back…the front-half I was only up by one stroke, and then we tied on the back-half. So, actually, we had a victory. That’s rare. Usually I come in third ‘cause I get frustrated, you know? So, we finished up mini-golf, then we used the facilities, and then we headed to this…the larger part of Spark Social. Is that what it was called? Oh, this…there…yeah, a couple of retired mini-golf fanatics. This is from sfeater.com…are the visionaries behind Stagecoach Greens. Yeah, it follows the theme of boom and bust. They had different fabricators work on them, and…so then the food trucks…so, there was food trucks; there was five food trucks from Parklabs, which is the one that runs the food trucks and Spark Social that were at Stagecoach Greens. They just had a bad day on the lemonade; let me just say that.
But then you could go one more block down to the whole Spark Social, which I was talking about, and eat from a multitude of places or drink from a multitude of places and sit down. It was, again, bustling but not over-packed. It was busy but not too busy. There was a couple of the big name…we decided…my daughter wanted quesabirria, which I think I talked about recently with…there’s a difference between birria…like birria’s kind of stewed meat, and quesabirria, which is…birria, stewed meat, usually in this case beef, but it’s cooked in this con…so, we got the consomme and it’s cooked in the consomme…I don’t know. It’s tough to describe. You’ll have to look it up. So, we hadn’t had quesabirria in a while, but it really worked out because…so, we got two quesabirria tacos or two quesabirria.
I think that’s just what you call it; just quesabirria, which is basically you take the birria with cheese and then on the griddle, they cook the tortilla and then use the…melt the cheese, heat up the beef, and they do that in the…in some consomme, which had this…some of the chillis and stuff. So, it kinda crisps it up and melts the cheese, a lot of cheese if you’re a big fan of cheesy stuff. So, we had two of those; one each with a consomme, which I think comes for…came included. I don’t know. I don’t remember paying extra for it. Some places charge extra for a side of consomme. But so, we got that and then I got a pizza from a pizza place. I gotta tell you, the people at the pizza place, they were…went above and beyond with their service.
The quesabirria place was great too, but they were just really friendly and really on top of it. They were out of napkins; I said hey, you’re out of napkins. They took care of that really quick. The pizza was really good. It was one of those smaller, personal size, but here’s where it really worked out; so then we ate the quesabirria, kept the consomme, then I went and got the pizza. I also picked up a root beer for myself, and a LaCroix. I don’t know what my daughter had to drink. Then we took the pizza and dipped it in the consomme, and I’ll tell you what; if you have a side of consomme with any…this was a meat pizza so it had sausage, pepperoni, and salami. First we tried the crust, but then even dipping the pizza itself in the consomme was unbelievable. It was just great to be around outdoors. It was bustling.
People were enjoying themselves. A lot of people enjoying their post-work happy hour kinda situation. Then tons of jerseys ‘cause people were going there before the Dubs game and before the Giants game. Really enjoyable, really pleasurable evening. So, that’s another one you could do as lunch, you could do it as a dinner. I don’t know about a breakfast. I don’t…probably not, but maybe for brunch. You could do a lot of walking or you could go to one of the…see a sporting event or you could just play some mini-golf. So, that’s another day in the Bay from Scoots to you. Goodnight, everybody.
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(Transcribed by Leah Hervoly)